Mindreading by Sanjida O'Connell
An Investigation into How We Learn to Love and Lie

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"I know what you're thinking," we say, but how do we know what others are thinking or feeling? Because evolution has granted us what has come to be known as "Theory of Mind," the ability not only to be self-aware but aware of others' consciousness. Theory of Mind develops slowly-and in some cases, such as autism, develops little or not at all. Theory of Mind allows us to interact socially, to care about others, to manage our behavior in groups, to fall in love, and--less admirably--it allows us to lie.

Some of the subject matter covered in Mindreading:

You are less likely to detect lies told to you by your longterm partner than by a new acquaintance.Female babies react more strongly and more often to another baby's cries than male babies. In other words, female children are more predisposed to become personally distressed by emotion in others and to cry in sympathy.In general, the female brain is superior to the male brain when it comes to social relationships; the male brain is better at spatial skills. People with autism follow the male trend, but to a much greater extreme.Autistics, like many normal men, collect things, focus on what seems to others to be trivial detail, and have a narrow range of interests. Could autism be an extreme form of the male brain?For evolutionary reasons, you should take very good care to detect eye gaze, because when another animal is looking at you it can mean one of the three 'F's. Either the animal wants to fight you, feed on you, or mate with you.

About Sanjida O'Connell

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Sanjida O'Connell is a science journalist who writes r
Published January 1, 1997 by Heinemann. 272 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Her conclusion, supported by accounts of some robots under development, is that we may soon have robots with a simple version of Theory of Mind or perhaps robots that, in a limited context, act as if they have it.

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Publishers Weekly

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The title of this debut by British science journalist O'Connell refers not to clairvoyance, but to the means by which we try to understand what lies behind other people's words and gestures and how we ""respond to them."" For the author, how we quickly get a fix on people and their motives underp...

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It discusses how minds work to understand others and how strange and isolated the world must appear to those whose minds either don't or can't understand how others minds work.

Aug 28 1998 | Read Full Review of Mindreading: An Investigation...

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